Protecting Malaysia's Sarawak Rainforest with Technology


    Jan 06, 2023

    In this guest post, our partner Rainforest Connection gives an overview of the TECH4ALL project in Malaysia to protect biodiversity in Malaysia’s Sarawak Rainforest by preventing illegal logging.

    Rainforest Connection authors

    Project scope

    The Malaysia project currently has 874,256 recordings from 7 sites uploaded to Arbimon. The combination of manual validation and pattern
    matching models has detected 79 species:

    • 74 birds
    • 3 monkeys
    • 1 Black giant squirrel
    • 1 frog

    Twenty-eight of those species are on a threatened category in the IUCN
    Red List

    Since the creation of the CNN, many interesting species have been identified in the dataset collected in the Huawei Malaysia project site.

    Project Significance and Description

    At the Similajau National Park in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, RFCx works with the Sarawak Forest Department, Sarawak Forestry Corporation, and Huawei to enable the Sarawak government to protect its rainforests. Covering over 60% of the state, these forests are rich in biodiversity and represent a sustainable source of medicine, food, and livelihood for many

    The project leverages the power of IoT and Huawei’s cloud AI to detect and monitor sounds of illegal logging, and halt illegal activities in real-time. The acoustic data of the rainforest provides partners and researchers on-the-ground with biodiversity data that allows for better, more specific protection and conservation efforts in Sarawak.

    The Guardians for the project were installed completely by the local team in Sarawak, making it RFCx’s first totally remote installation project.

    Animal species are highly varied in this area and include:

    • 185 species of mammals
    • 530 species of birds
    • 166 species of snakes
    • 104 species of lizards
    • 113 species of amphibians

    Of these, 19 percent of the mammals, 6 percent of the birds, 20 percent of the snakes and 32 percent of the lizard species are endemic. These include the Bornean Grey Gibbon (Hylobates muelleri), the Borneo Bay Cat (Catopuma badia), the Helmeted Hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil), the Bornean Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi borneensis) and the Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica).

    Project partners

    Sarawak Forest Department, Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Sarawak Media Authority, and Huawei Malaysia

    A few of the species that have been monitored

    Photo credit: Gabriel Leite, RFCx Biodiversity Scientist

    Click the link for sound samples of the Red-throated Barbet on Arbimon.

    Photo credit: Gabriel Leite, RFCx Biodiversity Scientist

    Click the link for sound samples of the Black Hornbill on Arbimon.

    Photo credit: Gabriel Leite, RFCx Biodiversity Scientist

    Click the link for sound samples of the Bold-striped tit-babbler.

    And click the following links to find out more about the work of Rainforest Connection and to learn more about the Malaysia TECH4ALL project.

    Further reading

    Read more about the projects in which Rainforest Connection is partnership with Huawei and other local partners to protect threatened ecosystems under the Huawei TECH4ALL initiative.

    Rainforests and forests [Primary objective]

    Forest, Wetlands & Oceans [Primary objective]

    Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.


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